Cover Photo- Nathaniel Mayer in the 560 KMON Studio

Junior ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) is a club at the high school level that many students participate in.  Nathaniel Mayer, a senior at Great Falls High School visited with the Central MT Radio Network about the club.

Jorge Villalba

What is J ROTC

It's a class you can choose to take, but it's more like an elective, you're going to do a bunch of stuff outside of school as well. It's more like a club, closer to student government than it is to an actual class.

Photo by em&theo on Unsplash
Photo by em&theo on Unsplash

Does it lead to a Military Career

If you choose to do so. There's no military obligations with the J ROTC. It is just to introduce people to what that lifestyle is, especially for people who have never been introduced to it before.

Do you have plans to join the Military

Yes, I do plan to join the military after High School. I'm going to go into the Air Force. I have a scholarship for college ROTC, at MSU Bozeman. My plan is to go and do that and then commission as an officer with the hopes of becoming a pilot.

Upcoming J ROTC Activities

Purple- Up day on April 27th is a day to recognize military children and all the sacrifices they have to go through being dragged along with their parents. It is the day we want everyone to wear purple. It is purple- up day just to show their support and that they are there for the military community in Great Falls.

Photo by Katrina Berban on Unsplash
Photo by Katrina Berban on Unsplash

Great Falls Public School Promotes Purple- Up Day

Yes, indeed. The public schools, we want everyone to go out and wear purple just to show their support and let the military community know that everyone is here for them.

Different J ROTC Events Throughout The Year

We do events all year long starting the beginning of the school year. The Baton Death March, we did in the fall as a way to honor POWs and MIA’s from different wars that we've been through. We recently did the spring blood drive, the Red Cross and we had them come out to the school and we donated blood and had people from the school come in and donate blood. We do (an activity) around Thanksgiving and Christmas time, we'll do food donations and food drives, we will get turkeys out to people who can't afford them and help get food out to people during those holiday seasons.

Great Falls Public School Sporting Events

Before most sporting events, we try to get them all done. We will go out and present the flags and you will see us out there. It is usually four people, two on rifles and then one on the Montana flag and one on the America flag. We will go out and for the anthem we will present the colors.

Veteran Salutes the US Flag

How to sign up to be a part of J ROTC

All you have to do is go talk to your counselor and have them sign you up for a class. So we have six periods, so we are pretty open and we can work around your schedule to try to get you in the class

Can CMR Students belong

We are combined, CMR students will come to Great Falls High in order to do the J ROTC class. So it's both students from both high schools.

Additional Activities J ROTC Activities

We are also going to be celebrating on the 27th of April, which is Purple- Up day, the Purple Star Schools and Purple Star individuals. Those are schools that have worked with the military community to help make life easier for them. Purple Star schools are Meadowlark Elementary, chief Joseph Elementary, Great Falls High School, the Early Learning Center, and the Montana School for Deaf and Blind. The individuals that we're celebrating for Purple Star Day are Lt. Colonel Brian Holbein, MSgt Michael Wonch, and Colonel Christopher Karns. Brian and Michael are the J ROTC instructors at Great Falls High. Colonel Karns is the colonel for the Malmstrom Air Force Base.

Listen To The Interview Here

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